Green Summer 2023: Meaningful Trip of Vietnamese Students in Russia
In the last days of July 2023, the Youth Union of International University under the Hanoi-based Vietnam National University, and the Youth Union Committee in the Russian Federation coordinated to organize a volunteer activity titled "Green Summer" in Bang Thanh commune, district Pac Nam, Bac Kan province.
For international students studying abroad, summer is an opportunity to travel, to return to Vietnam to visit family, to rest after a year of hard work. But six international students studying in Russia have chosen to participate in summer volunteering as a way to learn practical lessons outside of the classroom.
|Students advocacy about volunteer program. Photo: Duc Thang
Previously, Doan Duc Thang, student of the Academy of State Fire Service of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia, only knew about the lives of the highland people through movies on television. Therefore, on the occasion of internship and summer vacation in Vietnam, Duc Thang decided to participate in the "Green Summer" to experience life in the highlands and help people here. At the same time, Duc Thang also wants to work with many talented young people and learn many skills after this trip.
Tran Mai Tuan Phong, student at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, knows "Green Summer" through the stories of his mother and sister. Tuan Phong feels that although participating in activities also has many difficulties and hardships, it was worth it.
“Every year, on the occasion of the founding anniversary of the Union (March 26), the young people participating in the 'Green Summer' that year hold a meeting to review their youth memories. That makes me curious and eager to participate in the summer volunteer program," Tuan Phong shared.
|Students give gifts to families under the preferential treatment policy. Photo: Duc Thang
During the 14-day-activities, the students participated in many meaningful activities, such as organizing a summer cultural review class for children in the highlands; handing over Youth Works to the locality like youth flower road, country road lighting, children's playground, bookcase; organizing cultural and sports activities; broadcasting on state laws, food safety and hygiene, traffic safety, on the communication systems of the commune.
On the occasion of Vietnam War Invalids and Martyrs' Day (July 27), the whole delegation visited and gave gifts to families with meritorious services to the revolution, repaired the memorial stele for martyrs and participated in the program "Lighting gratitude candles" to commemorate the heroic martyrs.
"At that moment, we all entered the sacred atmosphere of the nation," shared Le Thi Lien, a student at the Russian National University of Humanities.
This is the first time that international students have been able to hoe the ground, plant flowers, build roads, install light bulbs, paint local houses' walls, transplant rice and seedlings, help houseworks, and go into the forest to gather firewood and bamboo shoots. Although 14 days of volunteering are brief, they have helped international students grow up a lot. They know how to share and care for those around them. Discipline in the group also helps them to be more responsible for themselves.
|Students clean and repair the martyrs cemetery. Photo: Duc Thang
Beautiful impression left in the hearts of children in remote areas
An indispensable activity in the volunteer campaign is organizing summer cultural review classes for highland children. During the lessons, the children learned English, Russian, and life skills such as prevention of social evils, protecting themselves from accidents, and fire prevention.
“Nearly 100 children attend each lesson. The maximum class size is up to 150 students. Many children live in the mountains and have to walk 5-6 km to get to school. They come to school in the early morning, eat together with fellow students. At night, brothers and sisters take the children home. 14 days of living and playing with children has left me with many memories”, shared Tuan Phong.
On the last day of the volunteering campaign, early in the morning, more than a dozen children came to the school site to say goodbye and promise that they would continue to strive to do well in their studies. In the guestbook, an unnamed child wrote, “Thank you to all of you for giving us such a beautiful time. Although it was very hot, you still tried to give us meaningful lectures."
|At the summer cultural review class. Photo: Duc Thang
14-year-old Hoang Le Na, a local girl, expressed her happiness with all the great moments when she experienced and worked with the volunteers. She wishes they a safe trip home, hoping them have a stable job in the future and find your own happiness.
Returning home after the volunteer campaign, Le Thi Lien still remembers the image of a little girl Thuy, nicknamed "the girl of the mountains", crying a lot and constantly asking, "Will you forget me?". Lien remembers the quiet and shy boy named Hai, always helping his brothers and sisters.
Thinking about Bac Kan, international students will always remember the children here, the smiles of the local people, the days of hard work. And one thing is for sure, the volunteer movement will always burn in the hearts of young people on the upcoming journey.
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